Recent high school graduate Oliver Daemen became the youngest person to go into space Tuesday morning after he secured one of four seats on billionaire Jeff Bezos’ first crewed Blue Origin flight that blasted off from Texas Tuesday morning.
Daemen joined Bezos, his brother Mark Bezos and honored guest Wally Funk, who trained to be an astronaut in the 1960s but was denied entry into the NASA space program, for the 10-minute ride just beyond the Karman line.
But how did the 18-year-old get a spot?
The fourth seat inside Blue Origin’s crew capsule sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for $28 million, but the would-be astronaut was forced to delay to a later flight date over a scheduling conflict and the seat went to the next-highest bidder, making Daemen a last-minute addition, according to the Washington Post.
"We moved him up when this seat on the first flight became available," a Blue Origin spokesperson said, the Post reported.
Daemen’s father is Joes Daemen, the millionaire founder of Dutch company Somerset Capital Partners, which invests in real estate, private equity and global financial markets. Joes Daemen paid for the flight, CNBC reported.
Oliver Daemen has his pilot’s license and plans to study physics at a Dutch university this fall.
Blue Origin said going into space has been a "lifelong" dream for the teenager.
Daemen is the first paying passenger on Blue Origin, which plans to sell more seats for future flights.